Tax fraud involves the willful attempt to evade or defeat a tax imposed, resulting in the deprivation of funds owed to the state or federal government. Both federal and Florida law include heavy fines and severe criminal penalties, including potential mandatory/minimum sentences of up to 25 years and maximum potential sentences of up to LIFE. Mr. Petruzzi has represented numerous individuals charged with, or under investigation for, tax fraud offenses by both federal and state authorities. His experience and knowledge serve as an invaluable asset to his clients.
Federal tax fraud offenses are investigated and prosecuted by various agencies, including the FBI, IRS and the Department of Justice. Some common federal statutes criminalizing tax fraud include:
26 USC Sec. 7201 –
Any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by this title or the payment thereof shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100,000 ($500,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution.
Florida tax fraud offenses are investigated and prosecuted by various state and local law enforcement agencies. Some common Florida statutes criminalizing tax fraud include:
212.15 Taxes declared state funds; penalties for failure to remit taxes; due and delinquent dates; judicial review.—
(2) Any person who, with intent to unlawfully deprive or defraud the state of its sums of money or the use or benefit thereof, fails to remit taxes collected under this chapter is guilty of theft of state funds, punishable as follows:
(a) If the total amount of stolen revenue is less than $300, the offense is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Upon a second conviction, the offender is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Upon a third or subsequent conviction, the offender is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
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